Dear Diary, Summer's definitely over. The heat's gone and the light's beginning to dim - the days are markedly shorter. The past few days have been pleasantly warm and sunny, and the forecast is for even better weather today. But the fact is we're into autumn. August was pretty much a wash-out, with hardly a day of high pressure airstreams or real summer heat. And now we're into September - a beautiful month for sure, but it's definitely autumn. Sunflowers have turned to seed, tomatoes are struggling to ripen. Oleanders have finished flowering already.
I'm cursing yesterday's Guardian for putting Blair's mug on the front page - seriously scary.
They also had a full page photo of him inside the paper - presumably a quid pro quo for the exclusive interview he gave the paper as a launching pad for his latest WMD. The guy just doesn't want to go away.
"BRIGHTEN up your day by moving at least one of Tony Blair's books to the crime section in your local book shop."The man's an appalling maniac. And I hate the way people still maintain that Blair somehow made (New) Labour 'electable'. How many times do they need to be told that a fucking three legged horse would have been electable after 17 years of Thatcher and Major and their vile crew? The country wanted rid of the Tories, and indeed it still doesn't, on the whole, want them back. It's just that New Labour became extremely UNelectable after people had woken up to the vileness of . . . New Labour. We voted Labour IN SPITE OF Blair - not BECAUSE OF him.
The Guardian's editorial yearns for David Miliband to repudiate and apologise for the New Labour awfulness. The editorial hints at a kind of Kennedyesque scenario being the outcome of the leadership election - the elder of the brothers becoming head honcho whilst the younger drives through progressive social and economic policies.
Labour leadership: Fraternal brotherhood
Labour's loss in the spring was as painful as it was inevitable
For all the achievements of the last 13 years, the country had wearied of New Labour, with its wars, its disdain for liberty and its timidity with the ruinous bankers. Tactical positioning had crowded out serious thought, and on some really big questions, such as the authoritarian erosion of civil liberties, the regime had become incapable of perceiving any problem at all.
In the end, new policies will count for more than a new personality, and the campaign's quiet success has been stirring a smidgen of intellectual life back into the party.
A [new] Labour leader will provide three things – a plausible economic plan, a grasp of the new shape of politics, and a decisive break with the Blair-Brown years.
Besides mastering the new politics, however, the next leader must dispense with the old. The younger Miliband has come into his own by drawing a line under the Blair-Brown era. In indulging plutocrats, trampling on liberties and invading Iraq, the last government got it wrong, and Ed Miliband is willing to say so, where his brother is not.
Ed Miliband's last posting as climate change secretary was a political blessing. It provided a platform on which to fight the good fight, which he did. Together with his sustained interest in narrowing the wealth gap, his brief ministerial record stirred hopes of replacing New Labour's................................................................
rudderless expediency with a more principled pragmatism.
Other Viz Top Tips:
GOOGLE: Assist night surfers by replacing the "I'm feeling lucky" button with the "I'm feeling horny" one.
ALWAYS MASTURBATE whilst eating a carrot to cancel out any adverse effects.
BAKERS AND TOASTER MAKERS: Get together and decide what fucking size slices of bread should be and stick to it.
STEER clear of kettle chips. Just bought a packet; they turned to mush and welded themselves to the element.
PETER CROUCH - Avoid getting into trouble with Abbie Clancy when booking hotel rooms by using the alias Mr and Mr Hague.
SAVE VALUABLE TIME running water from the tap by purchasing pre-poured water in bottles.
My son tells me he doesn't read Viz 'cos it childish . . .
The William Hague thing is interesting. Very interesting. It even features high on the list on Yahoo's "Trending" page. Who'd have thought that Wee Willie could be so interesting to the general public?
As for what he's alleged to have done - who really gives a monkey's? Surely it's more worrying that he's a Tory than he's bisexual, or whatever?
Pretty poor show though - trying to prove his hetrosexuality by saying he keeps on shagging his missus but she keeps on aborting.
It seems most people just assume he's a liar.
There were some excellent letters in the Guardian yesterday:
Polly Toynbee's spot-on tirade almost brought a lump to my throat (These vain, venal has-beens should bow out and shut up, 31 August). In May I reluctantly voted Lib Dem in the hope of creating a fairer, better politics. What made me abandon my lifelong affiliation was not any catalogue of Labour's policy mistakes, not even its mad war. It was the rancid ethos created and exuded by Blair, Brown, Mandelson and their acolytes. I'd grown to despise these men for betraying Labour's very raison d'etre, a commitment to a more just and equal society. I despised them because they didn't seem to care. For many thousands, this is the toxic legacy of Blair and co. Let's hope the new Labour leader, like Pip at the end of Great Expectations, grasps his chance to throw open the windows, let out the bad smell and let in some fresher air..........................................................
The trouble with the Labour leadership election is that it is difficult to see any of these affable candidates as party leader, let alone prime minister. It's hard to work out exactly what they stand for or what it is that inspires and motivates them. I struggle to find anything new or exciting in either substance or style. I wonder if I were to get to meet any of them, who would I rather have patronise me in order to gain my support?
If only one of them would have a serious bitch about something important – like what has happened to the Labour party, like the Labour MPs who have scrounged thousands out of the parliamentary expenses system, like how the rich continue to exploit the rest of us.
Democracy not just about getting people to vote for your party so you can form an administration and have a career in politics. It's about having a voice and being heard. While the candidates waffle on about being able to run capitalism more efficiently than the real capitalists in the Tory party, millions of people remain without representation and feel that nobody is listening to them.
Polly Toynbee is mistaken in thinking there is not much to choose between the Miliband brothers (The Labour project now is the reverse of 1994, 28 August). In fact their differences over strategy – with David wanting to continue to pursue the centre ground, and Ed seeking a "progressive coalition" – go to the heart of Labour's problem. David's solution is a dead end, one which offers only another centre government, when the voters eventually get fed up with the Con Dems, but not very different from theirs, or Blair/Brown's. Ed offers something more leftwing that will win back the support of Labour's lost "core" vote and retain that of the "progressive" middle class. This is feasible, but only if we change the electoral system to one of full proportional representation. Under our current system parties will always pursue the centre ground to win, as elections are decided by "don't knows" in a minority of seats. It worked for Blair and Cameron, and could work for David, but it won't deliver a radical government. That requires a proportional system, where a "progressive coalition", even if it initially consists of Labour and Lib Dems, can sustain its trajectory. So vote Ed, vote AV, forward to PR. (I'm sure Ed will soon come round to it!)....................................................
The problem with all these candidates is that they all look like, and sound like, a load of muppets.
Last night, to mark the anniversary of the Katrina disaster, Channel 4 screened parts 3 and 4 of Spike Lee's 4 hour documentary about what took place in New Orleans.
This was Lee's attempt to let the people "have their say". What the film brilliantly shows is the appalling neglect and incompetence by all levels of government and their agencies - leading up to the disaster, during it, and afterwards.
Wynton Marsalis, who really does have a way with words, said,
"In this moment we see a lot of what's wrong with this country."
Indeed we do. It's hard to consider America a civilised country when it has such incredible levels of poverty, inequality, neglect, filth, destitution, unhappiness and bitterness.
There were amazing stories of searches not being done properly, new mobile homes piled up in depots and not distributed for months on end, electricity not being reconnected, insurance companies refusing to pay out, levees not being reconstructed adequately, properties being bulldozed and people being evicted so that neighbourhoods could be gentrified, etc. Horrendous.